Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge’s Notes on Correspondence with Henry S. Randall

My letters to Mr Randall were written very rapidly, often at night after the family were in bed. They were written in fact so fast that they were generally blotted and interlined, and I was frequently obliged to copy them fair, before sending them. In doing this I involuntarily made additions, & changes, not so much in the matter as the manner. The blotted originals were thrown by. From these I shall attempt to make copies. They will differ of course from the letters sent to Mr Randall, not in the facts, except that these may be less abundant, but in the form. Of some of the latter letters I make real copies, and these I will now re-copy.

It is now two years since I formed this plan & since I began this collection. I was then in Beverly. (1856) I am now in Boston. The two first volumes of Mr Randall’s book have been published. The third & last, in which my letters will be introduced, is to appear next month. (June 1858.)

It was in 1853 that Mr Randall sent me the first chapters of his book, in ms. desiring me to read & make my comments upon them. I did so, & sent him a good many sheets of remarks of which I kept no copies. I find of these, two or three fragments which I shall insert before beginning with the letters of 1856. I fancy Mr Randall must have laid by his work for a time, as I heard little from him between July 1853 and January 1856.

Tr (ViU: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge Correspondence, Letterbook); dateline at foot of text; in the hand of Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge.

mr Randall’s book was The Life of Thomas Jefferson, published in three volumes in 1858.